Adding to Lalu Prasad’s worries, on Friday, the CBI raided 12 places across India over the over alleged irregularities in awarding of tenders for hotel maintenance when the Prasad was the chief was the railway’s minister. A case had been registered earlier against Prasad, his wife Rabri Devi and their son Tejaswi, who is also the deputy CM of Bihar.
The then Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation managing director PK Goyal and the wife of Prasad’s confidante Prem Chand Gupta, Sujata, are among the other accused. Gupta is a former union corporate affairs minister. Raids were conducted in Patna, Gurgaon, Delhi, Odisha and Ranchi and the drive started as early as 7:30 AM.
On reaching Prasad’s residence, the RJD Chief was not at home. However, he is to appear before the CBI court in the fodder scandal that involves large-scale embezzlement of government funds. The CBI is examining irregularities in awarding tenders to private firms for operating railway hotels located close to stations. Among the places being raided were a few farm houses and two hotels, including the popular Chanakya BNR Hotel in Ranchi.
Significantly, these raids come in the wake of income-tax department’s launched a search operation in Delhi and nearby places in connection with corruption charges against Prasad’s daughter Misa Bharti and her husband Shailesh Kumar, who were also questioned.
In fact, Lalu Prasad’s entire family is under CBI scanner, Tejaswi’s elder brother Tej Pratap, who is the Bihar health minister, is also battling charges of corruption. The RJD chief, who has proposed a grand alliance to take on the BJP in 2019 Lok Sabha election, accuses the Modi government of a witchhunt against his family and denies the charges.